Books by Walter Mosley

WALTER MOSLEY is the author of the bestsellers Bad Boy Brawly Brown, and Fear Itself; the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries; and other works of fiction and non-fiction. He is the recipient of a Grammy Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and man


DEBBIE DOESN'T DO IT ANYMORE by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 13, 2014

"A well-told redemption song about the most unlikely of heroines."
A porn star experiences an epiphany of sorts in the wake of her husband's death. Read full book review >
LITTLE GREEN by Walter Mosley
Released: May 14, 2013

"Whether it's the lingering effects of his near-fatal accident or the infusions of Gator's Blood, Easy sounds less like Watts' signature private eye than one of the visionaries from Mosley's Crosstown to Oblivion novellas (Stepping Stone/The Love Machine, 2013, etc.)."
The 1967 Watts riots seem to have slowed down time for Easy Rawlins, who returns only a few weeks after his apparent death at the end of Blonde Faith (2007). Read full book review >
STEPPING STONE / THE LOVE MACHINE by Walter Mosley
Released: April 2, 2013

"Mosley, whose mystery novels (All I Did Was Shoot My Man, 2012, etc.) have won deserved acclaim, is here at his most declamatory, essayistic and oracular."
The creator of Easy Rawlins, whose ambition keeps sending him back to apocalyptic sci-fi scenarios with decidedly mixed results (The Wave, 2006, etc.), presents a pair of visionary novellas mainly designed to provide their characters with occasions to hector each other and the gentle reader with speechifying. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"For thoughtful readers, the questions posed by the book are well worth pondering."
Two more novellas in one volume, continuing Mosley's Crosstown to Oblivion series (The Gift Of Fire / On The Head Of A Pin, 2012), the common theme being, "a black man destroys the world." Read full book review >
THE GIFT OF FIRE / ON THE HEAD OF A PIN by Walter Mosley
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 8, 2012

"Ingenious and mystical, although readers familiar with fantasy and science fiction will find little new or provocative here. Fans of Mosley's gumshoe noir books (or Blue Light, 1998, his earlier foray into the domain) will certainly wish to investigate."
Moving far from the milieu of Easy Rawlins and Socrates Fortlow (Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, 1997, etc.), Mosley offers two novellas in one volume, part of a series entitled Crosstown to Oblivion, the common theme being, "a black man destroys the world." Read full book review >
ALL I DID WAS SHOOT MY MAN by Walter Mosley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"Overplotted even by Mosley's standards, with precious little chance to savor each scene and speaker before they're hustled offstage to make room for the next."
The release of a convicted killer who doesn't happen to be a thief offers another crack at redemption for impossibly compromised New York private eye Leonid McGill (When the Thrill Is Gone, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
TWELVE STEPS TOWARD POLITICAL REVELATION by Walter Mosley
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2011

"The author's heart is in the right place, but it's tough to rally the masses when your message seems more likely to appeal to the fringe."
Bestselling novelist Mosley (The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, 2010) offers disenchanted denizens of the 21st century a screed-like guide to casting off the oppressive shackles of modern society. Read full book review >
WHEN THE THRILL IS GONE by Walter Mosley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 8, 2011

"A book filled with sharp individual scenes and hard-headed aphorisms."
A client who isn't a client sends private eye Leonid McGill (Known to Evil, 2010, etc.) on his latest whirligig tour of New York's dark side. Read full book review >
THE LAST DAYS OF PTOLEMY GREY by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 11, 2010

"Borrowing from Faust, the Iliad and Gran Torino, Mosley (Known to Evil, 2010, etc.) unforgettably transforms Ptolemy's cacophony of memories into a powerful symphony that makes him "into many men from out of all the lives he had lived through the decades.""
An ancient man living in solitary squalor in Los Angeles is offered an experimental medicine that just might beat back his creeping dementia—and will almost certainly kill him in the process. Read full book review >
KNOWN TO EVIL by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 23, 2010

"A rich collection of individual scenes and people as memorable as the tangled plot is forgettable."
An offer he can't refuse leads Leonid McGill (The Long Fall, 2009, etc.) on a grim tour that takes him from New York's executive suites to its lowest dives. Read full book review >
THE LONG FALL by Walter Mosley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 24, 2009

"Plotting has never been Mosley's strong point, but McGill, a red-diaper baby, ex-boxer and a man eternally at war with himself, may be his most compelling hero yet."
The creator of Easy Rawlins, Socrates Fortlow and Fearless Jones introduces a new detective struggling to live down his checkered past in present-day New York. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 13, 2008

Ex-con Socrates Fortlow, the conscience of South Central Los Angeles (Walkin' the Dog, 1999, etc.), returns for another dozen interlinked adventures, most of them revolving around dialogues on tough or taboo subjects. Read full book review >
THE TEMPEST TALES by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2008

"A classic case of overreaching, though one that's often moving and provoking."
Versatile Mosley tells the story of a black man dead before his time who shakes up the divine order by refusing his condemnation to Hell. Read full book review >
DIABLERIE by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 8, 2008

"Provocative, haunting, satisfyingly inconclusive work from a storyteller of formidable gifts and boundless ambition."
A disturbing chance encounter jolts a New York computer programmer out of his affectless routine and into the turbulent what-next zone in which Mosley's heroes from Easy Rawlins to Fearless Jones have always thrived. Read full book review >
BLONDE FAITH by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 10, 2007

"Familiar territory for both Mosley (Killing Johnny Fry, 2007, etc.) and Easy, who sounds a lot more ancient than his 47 years."
Easy Rawlins's 10th case (Cinnamon Kiss, 2005, etc.), set in 1967, is a tale of three missing men, each with a personal connection to Watts's definitive private eye. Read full book review >
KILLING JOHNNY FRY by Walter Mosley
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"An interesting look at a male in midlife crisis. As L says, "I had come alive. And life hurt.""
And now for something completely different from Easy Rawlins' prolific creator (Cinnamon Kiss, 2005, etc.), who's branching out into still another genre. Read full book review >
FEAR OF THE DARK by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 2006

"Luckily, the clouds obscuring the labyrinthine plot frequently lift to reveal the clarity of Paris's wisdom, as when he observes that kindly Fearless constantly fights only because "we were poor and we were black and so we either fought or we lost ground.""
Watts, 1956. Time for another 15 rounds of unsought violence for bookseller Paris Minton and his friend Fearless Jones. Read full book review >
FORTUNATE SON by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 10, 2006

"Though he doesn't duplicate the austere power of The Man in My Basement (2004), Mosley makes his simple tale gripping through the studied artlessness of his storytelling."
Mosley's latest departure from his Easy Rawlins mysteries (Cinnamon Kiss, 2005, etc.) is a parable about the ineffable bond between two boys—one white, one black—raised as brothers. Read full book review >
THE WAVE by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2006

"Even so, Mosley's third foray into sci-fi (Futureland, 2001, etc.) is as provocative and deeply felt as ever, right down to the enigmatic ending."
The apparent resurrection of his dead father is only the beginning of an unemployed system administrator's fantastic confrontation with forces that could change the destiny of the planet. Read full book review >
CINNAMON KISS by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 2005

"Lacks the searing intensity of Little Scarlet (2004), but still as rich and tightly wound as you'd expect from Mosley. "
1966. Watts has stopped burning, but it's no safer for Easy Rawlins, on the trail of some mysterious documents that leave death in their wake. Read full book review >
47 by Walter Mosley
FANTASY
Released: May 4, 2005

"Mostly, however, this is a flawed, didactic exploration of the nature of freedom, juxtaposing the brutality of 19th-century American slavery with the society of a faraway planet where skin color is irrelevant because "behind all existence there is one great mind." (Fiction. 12-16)"
Forty-seven is the name and number of a 14-year-old slave working on Master Tobias's Georgia plantation in 1832. Read full book review >
LITTLE SCARLET by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 5, 2004

"The real strength of Easy's narrative, though, is his unflinching recognition that in working with the police, he's crossing the same border that's driven his brothers and sisters to violence."
Easy Rawlins sizzles as Watts burns. Read full book review >
THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT by Walter Mosley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 5, 2004

In Mosley's boldly understated fable, an unemployed African-American agrees to rent space in his basement to a wealthy white businessman for two months. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2003 by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 10, 2003

"Not bad, but far from the best—and not even the best anthology to have appeared this year."
The latest BASS, while full of talent, is ultimately an echo of successes past. Read full book review >
FEAR ITSELF by Walter Mosley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 2, 2003

"Paris (Fearless Jones, 2001) ends by wrapping up a mystery with perhaps a dozen too many tangles, accepting himself as a killer, and guaranteeing that no matter how well he succeeds in his errands to the powerful and fearsome, he'll never get rich."
Inoffensive bookseller Paris Minton's friend Fearless Jones drags him from the safety of his shop into more trouble—big, big trouble—in 1955 Watts. Read full book review >
SIX EASY PIECES by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

"Despite the repetition, readers who missed these meaty, powerful stories in their paperback debuts will gobble them up at one sitting."
Even though six of the seven color-coded stories here have already appeared as pendants to recent paperback reprints of Mosley's first six Easy Rawlins novels, it's a special pleasure to have them all gathered together with the brand-new "Amber Gate," whose inquiry into the murder of much-loved prostitute Jackie Jay makes it the closest thing to a whodunit Mosley (Bad Boy Brawly Brown, p. 709, etc.) has yet produced. Read full book review >
BAD BOY BRAWLY BROWN by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2002

"Helping his brothers only because nobody else will, he returns from his six-year sabbatical more complex and compelling than ever before: a hero for his time and ours."
In a rare slowing of his usual leaps forward in time, Mosley, who's chronicled the adventures of reluctant Watts detective Ezekiel Rawlins from 1948 (Devil in a Blue Dress, 1990) to 1963 (A Little Yellow Dog, 1996), edges forward only three months to tell the story of Easy's search for Brawly Brown, the hulking young man who ran away from his mother, Alva Torres, smack into trouble. Read full book review >
FUTURELAND by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 12, 2001

"A vivid, exciting and, on the whole, well-executed take on cyberpunk that measures up to the work done 15 years ago by the Gibson and Bruce Sterling—but will Mosley's mystery fans go for them?"
Nine linked stories that continue Mosley's foray into science fiction that began in Blue Light (1998). Read full book review >
FEARLESS JONES by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 5, 2001

Even before sultry Elana Love walks into mild-mannered Paris Minton's life three months after his Watts bookstore opens, Mosley can't resist his signature scene: A pair of cops stroll into the shop determined to push Paris around just because he's a black man and it's 1954. Read full book review >
WORKIN' ON THE CHAIN GANG by Walter Mosley
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Jan. 1, 2000

" Even when his rhetoric is trite, however, Mosley is always engaged and engaging."
An eloquent if clichéd essay on black and white Americans' slavery to the economy. Read full book review >
WALKIN' THE DOG by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 14, 1999

"It's love that gives life.""
Mosley's probing and stirring follow-up to Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned (1997) presents a dozen further adventures of Socrates Fortlow, the ex-con struggling to protect his marginal, yet deeply rooted, life in blasted Watts. Read full book review >
BLACK GENIUS by Walter Mosley
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

"Mostly a good showing by one and all."
Fortunately, only a few of the writers in this otherwise fine collection of essays pay attention to the self-important title they are asked to labor under, before going off on their own riffs. Read full book review >
BLUE LIGHT by Walter Mosley
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 2, 1998

"The result is an ambitious mess, inventive and visionary as Mosley's greatest admirers might wish, but torn between windy prophecy and comic-book heroics."
Mosley leaves the Watts of Easy Rawlins and Socrates Fortlow (Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, 1997) far behind in this extravagant futuristic fantasy of a lucky few San Francisco natives transformed virtually into a new species by rays of unearthly blue light. Read full book review >
ALWAYS OUTNUMBERED, ALWAYS OUTGUNNED by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"The elemental recurrence of fear and lust and rage are right out of Easy Rawlins, even if Socrates' story exhibits rather than extends Mosley's range."
Mosley takes a break from his peerless Easy Rawlins series (Gone Fishin', 1997, etc.) for a cycle of non-mystery stories set in the same violent neighborhood of Watts. Read full book review >
GONE FISHIN' by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"No mystery, but a densely imagined prologue that goes a long way toward explaining why Easy spends so much of his adult life hamstrung by his deepest loyalties, as if every friendship were a life sentence."
Fans of Easy Rawlins who worry that he's been growing old too fast—Mosley's five novels from Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) to A Little Yellow Dog (p. 565) have carried him from 1948 to 1963—will be happy to have this prequel set in 1939, a slender coming-of-age story that takes Easy and his violent friend Raymond (Mouse) Alexander from their boyhood home in Houston's Fifth Ward to the aptly named town of Pariah, where Mouse plans to squeeze money out of his stepfather, Reese Corn, to underwrite his marriage to his sweetheart EttaMae. Read full book review >
A LITTLE YELLOW DOG by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1996

"But no living novelist beats Mosley's nervy sense of what thin ice the solidest-seeming characters build their lives upon, and how terrifying it is to feel the surface crack and shiver."
Easy Rawlins has been working for two years as a supervising custodian in Sojourner Truth Junior High School when he finds alluring math teacher Idabell Turner in her classroom much too early one morning for anything but trouble. Read full book review >
RL'S DREAM by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 7, 1995

"About what you'd expect if Flannery O'Connor had had the time to expand "Judgment Day" to novel length: as dark and rich as the Easy Rawlins stories, but without the persistent lure of Easy's search for the truth."
Mosley's Easy Rawlins mysteries (Black Betty, 1994, etc.) always seemed to be moving away from tightly plotted whodunits toward his trademark high-energy riffs, and here he makes his move to the mainstream with a hazy, tender tale of a dying bluesman taken in by a hard-bitten urban survivalist. Read full book review >
BLACK BETTY by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1994

"This latest installment, teeming with violence, bitterness, and compassion, is Mosley's finest work yet."
It's 1961, and Easy Rawlins has lost most of what he had five years ago in White Butterfly (1992). Read full book review >
WHITE BUTTERFLY by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 6, 1992

"As usual, plotting, setting, dialogue, and social comment are all as mannered as Raymond Chandler and—if the manner doesn't put you off—nearly as compelling."
Watts sometime-detective Easy Rawlins (Devil in a Blue Dress, A Red Death) is married when Mosley picks up his tale in 1956, but he still hasn't settled down: He's never told his nurses'-aide wife Regina about the property he owns or how he spends his days, and the local law still leans on him for help when they're up against it. Read full book review >
A RED DEATH by Walter Mosley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1991

"This time Mosley earns the acclaim his first novel received."
DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS by Walter Mosley
Released: July 16, 1990

"Better wait for the movie, or hope for more incisive plotting in the promised sequel."
Raymond Chandler meets Richard Wright in this not-quite-successful first novel set in 1948 L.A. Here, low-key black detective Easy Rawlins, fired from his job at a defense plant, agrees to locate femme fatale Daphne Monet for white gangster DeWitt Albright—and of course Finds more than he bargained for. Read full book review >